What is Acanthamoeba Keratitis?
Acanthamoeba are microscopic one celled parasites which are most often found in water such as tap water, well water, hot tubs, lakes, sea water, swimming pools, HVAC systems, humidifiers, and dirt. They can cause a rare but serious infection of the eye called Acanthamoeba Keratitis and most cases involve wearers of contact lenses.
Symptoms of Acanthamoeba Keratitis
Symptoms vary from patient to patient and closely resemble other eye issues. The most common symptoms are:
- Eye pain
- Red eyes
- Blurred vision
- Light sensitivity
- Foreign body sensation (the feeling of something in your eye)
- Excessive tearing
Treatment of Acanthamoeba Keratitis
Left untreated, Acanthamoeba Keratitis may lead to corneal scarring and the need for a corneal transplant. Early treatment is key to treating Acanthamoeba. Diagnosis can be difficult as the symptoms closely resemble those of conjuctivitis.
Follow your optometrist's tips regarding contact
lens care. Remove contacts before swimming or going into a hot tub. While
anyone can get this infection, the vast majority of infections are limited to
people who wear contact lenses.